Southerners love their cakes: it’s just a fact. We use any excuse to whip up some layers and really, is there anything more comforting than a pretty cake stand holding toothsome, sliceable bit of joy. Friends drop in for coffee? Afternoon snack? Even a breakfast in a pinch. Southerners know cake. We have many, many famous cakes, from Tennessee jam cake to Lane cake, but there may be no more popular Southern cake than the Hummingbird Cake. First featured in Southern Living in 1978, the Hummingbird Cake–and its delightfully odd marriage of bananas, pineapple, and cream cheese–has been one of the most popular recipes in the magazine’s fifty year history. Lots of us can remember our mamas fixing up a Hummingbird Cake for parties or potlucks. Many versions of the flavor trio abound, from cupcakes to milkshakes, but the classic cake itself, while it is a great thing to make for an occasion, can be its own occasion. That’s how delicious it is. If you’ve never made one before, maybe start a new tradition this holiday season with one of these spins on the classic. We featured a Hummingbird Bundt Cake in our Holiday 2016 photoshoot and sure enjoyed eating it as soon as we finished taking photos. The cake was made by Susan Dobbs in Birmingham.

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